A GOP Congressman Says He's Being 'Bullied' By Former Student Athletes Who Allege He Ignored Claims Of Sex Abuse At Ohio State

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, is facing accusations from former Ohio State wrestlers who claim that Jordan turned a blind eye to cases of sexual abuse during his tenure as coach more than two decades ago.

In April, Ohio State announced that it was investigating accusations that Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005, abused members of the wrestling team when he was the team doctor from the mid-1970s to late 1990s.

Jordan, who was assistant wrestling coach at the university from 1986 to 1994, stated that he was unaware of any allegations of abuse until former students began speaking out earlier this year. His remarks on this matter have been met with skepticism by former members of the wrestling team.

On Wednesday, CNN reported that Jordan’s office would contact Capitol Hill police with regards to an email the congressman from an alleged victim of sexual abuse at Ohio State University. A source told CNN that multiple emails were sent by this person and that Jordan did not respond to any of them because he felt the man was “bullying him.”

The man behind the emails, Michael DiSabato, competed in four seasons between 1987 and 1991, reported CNN. DiSabato claimed that he was 14-years old when he was first inspected by Dr. Strauss and that the abuse occurred over a span of nine years, including during his time as a graduate student.

Speaking to the powerlessness he felt as an alleged victim of sexual abuse, DiSabato said, "If you wanted your meds, if you wanted to stay healthy ... so that you could stay on scholarship, you grinned and beared it, so to speak," he said.

DiSabato holds firm to his belief that Rep. Jordan knew about the alleged abuse. “I considered Jim Jordan a friend,” DiSabato told NBC. “But at the end of the day, he is absolutely lying if he says he doesn’t know what was going on.”

Jordan continues to deny knowledge of the abuse, telling reporters in Ohio, as reported by ThinkProgress, on Wednesday, “We knew of no abuse, never heard of abuse. If we had, we would have reported it. If, in fact, there’s problems, we want justice for the people who were victims, obviously, and as I said, we are happy to talk with the folks who are doing the investigation. But the things they said about me just were flat-out not true.”

Jordan also claimed that he was not contacted by anyone investigating these allegations, though lawyers hired by Ohio State to probe the allegations told The Columbus Dispatch that Jordan was contacted by phone and by email, several times, for an interview request but he never responded.